News & Commentary

Key Funding and Policy Victories in FY19 Budget Deal

The Fiscal Year 2019 transportation budget was passed into law five months late by Congress today averting another government shutdown. The bill includes $2.9 billion for rail and $13.4 billion for transit, along with several key policy riders that Rail Passengers and its members fought for over the past year. "Today is a great day for our members, who fought long and hard to secure these wins on funding and the importance of passenger trains across the entire US," said Rail Passengers Presiden

We're #1?

by Joe Aiello | Northeast Field Coordinator “A commuter tie-up consists of you - and people who for some reason won't use public transit.” - Robert Brault Traffic is something that we can all relate to. It doesn’t matter where you live, rush-hour(s) is just a way of life. (I once flew into Chicago on Tuesday at 1pm and sat on the Blue Line while the Kennedy was at a stand-still in both directions). The one thing none of us can agree on though is just who has it worse… Well, thanks to

California’s High-Speed Rail Decision is Prudent Politics

But It Tells Us Uncomfortable Things About the State of American Ambition

By Sean Jeans-Gail Faced with problems he neither created nor can solve, Gov. Newsom essentially re-branded the effort, shoring up the project to focus on the achievable while turning down the political heat. The undeniable truth may be that America has lost its ambition to do big things.

Viewliner II: An End in Sight

First New Viewliner II Sleeper Car Delivery Expected Next Week

Abe Zumwalt According to a presentation given today at the monthly Washington IEEE luncheon, Amtrak expects delivery of the 1st of 25 new CAF Viewliner sleeping cars next week, after having completed delivery of the first Baggage-Dormitory car, 70 baggage cars, and 24 out of 25 Dining cars that replaced equipment that had been rolling since the middle of the 20th century. The 25 sleepers, after testing and full delivery, are intended to augment the existing Viewliner fleet of 50, given its r

The Room(s) Where It Happened

Rail Passengers made 375 person-to-person meetings last year during our Day on the Hill. This year, help us get to 400!

by Joe Aiello | Northeast Field Coordinator “No one really knows how the Parties get to yesssss The pieces that are sacrificed in Ev’ry game of chesssss We just assume that it happens But no one else is in The room where it happens.” I have mentioned in a previous blog that I’m a “union brat” organizer by heart, which is why I have a knack for town halls and various outreach events. There is another side of me that really gets a kick out of what I do for a living: I am the grandson

The Travel Review is Finally Here!

Your Feedback is Important to Improving Amtrak

By Carolyn Cokley, Director, Customer Programs I am pleased to announce that the Rail Passenger Travel Review is now up and live on our website, and can be accessed directly at RailPassengers.org/TravelReview. Rail Passengers Association will collect passenger feedback from all across the National Network, and results will be summarized, analyzed and reported out to Amtrak--as well as other interested rail passenger providers and transportation advocates. We are asking you all to please promot

Why Do Myths Persist?

Asking If A Route Is Profitable Misses The Point

Politicians shouldn't be asking whether a particular Amtrak route makes money. They should be asking who makes money from the route.

All Weather Transportation?

Snow rarely stops trains, but funding problems always do.

By Abe Zumwalt Airport’s Closed and the highway’s packed, But Amtrak’s running, and that’s a fact - “Snowstorm Boogie” , Garrison Keillor & Pat Donohue ...at least, until recently, and it represents a missed opportunity. Trains are the closest thing we have to all-weather ground transportation, yet they are not recognized in United States transportation policy for it, nor are they funded appropriately because of it. This needs to change. Last April, Rail Passengers’ Member

Blame The Lawyers, Part 1…

Relying On Rail When Other Modes Fail

by Jim Mathews | Snow shouldn't scare railroaders off the property. But sub-zero temperatures are different.

Blame The Lawyers, Part 2…

Freights Fight For Their Right To Be Unreliable

by Jim Mathews | Host railroads this week asked the Supreme Court to take up an appeal of the on-time performance (OTP) case that Rail Passengers won last summer. The arguments are the same, but this Court is not.